In a few short months I am going to attempt to climb California’s great Mt. Whitney. We’ve gotten our passes, the equipment and the want-to, but can I get this mamma body in shape in time to make it to the top?
Last week was my first hike in months. After beginning a quarter system at the university I got into the horrible habit of studying and not exercising, so my first hike I went without a pack. I got an incredible sunburn (add sunscreen to pack) and I was super sore afterwards, so I was afraid of the next hike we had planned… the hike with a pack.
Being the first time my pack will have been used made this adventure extra special. The first backpack adventure of my life! My pack weighed in at just over 25 pounds. I had a single change of clothes, 3 cliff bars, home made trail mix, my sleeping bag with Big Agnes insulated pad, a water bladder and, a student can never forget her textbook… Yes! I hauled up a textbook and printed articles for two classes worth of studying.
We decided to venture beyond Deep Creek and see what was further up the Pacific Crest Trail. Deep Creek Hot Springs is a great place to meet people and relax in the tubs and catch a nudist experience not found in many places in So Cal. The water has natural trout and there isn’t a better place to relax in nature while having a hot soak.
Further up stream, past Warm Springs to where Willow Creek meets Deep Creek is a beaver-made lake. This was just over 5 miles from the parking lot at Bowen Ranch. There we found a perfect sandy beach surrounded by rocks that had been worn smooth by the years of rushing water. The stream was snow-melt cold and it was the perfect contrast to the April sun that was beating down, warming the rocks from the winter winds.
Once the tent was set up, a nap was in order. What is a good hike without the perfect nap? We woke just in time to boil some water to reconstitute some freeze dried chicken and mashed potatoes. Who knew that freeze dried chicken would taste so good!?
The moon came up and cast moon shadows as the orchestra of the night began their first melodies. . .
Day two of my backpack adventure (to be continued…)